A brand spanking new album, from a band that a little over 10 years ago I didn’t give the time of day because of their dumb name. “The world doesn’t need more Long Name Break Down Bands,” I decided.
Finally at some point I got over my presumptuous stance on the band and gave them a listen. I was completely wrong about everything.
Roughly a decade later, here I am with two ears full of their freshest material. Low Teens opens up with a song called “Fear and Trembling”. The first thing you hear is a single guitar, and a disgusting series of single notes masterfully designed to make humans, and anxious dogs, pray that some sense will come of anything.
The first 20-odd seconds of the song are laced with the most conflicting pinch harmonics I’ve ever heard. On a technical level, they should have never made it on the recording. As for feel, they’re absolutely perfect in the context of the riff.
The production on this album (provided by Will Putney) is strong enough to hold these kinds of weird sounds together without any breaking and cracking at the seams of the song.
“Glitches” is the next song, and as is common for high octane D Beat, in two seconds I wanted to light my apartment on fire with laser eyes and renounce my faith in humanity.
Skipping ahead is “Two Summers”. A bouncing lesson in Rhythm and Bruise. It’s got cowbell all over it, complimenting the southern licks quite nicely.
Immediately following the laid back styling of its predecessor, “Awful Lot” kicks the record back into top gear. The production here is as clear as ocean water, but the riffs themselves are as thick as an oil spill. It sounds like Torche, if Torche drank a pallet of energy drinks and got into “scream your guts out” vocals.
This sort of sludgy, bottom heavy riffing then transitions into a very different but very welcome rock and roll bridge, something that could pass for Kvelertak or a lost Turbonegro single. This doesn’t last long, and almost as soon as you’re getting comfy sitting by the campfire, they throw you right into it.
There’s a big guest vocal appearance on track seven, “It Remembers”, from Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco (a band I personally despise.) This sentiment aside, it’s a damn tasty song – laid back, with plenty of breathing room and groove.
Published in Volume 71, Number 7 of The Uniter (October 20, 2016)